Clean Power Alliance is proud to celebrate the contributions and leadership of LGBTQ leaders in energy, clean technology, and as environmentalists during Pride Month.
Deseree Fontenot – Staff Member, Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project
In 2008, Deseree Fontenot began her ‘movement building’ journey as a student organizer working on queer and trans liberation struggles here in the Los Angeles area. After nearly a decade of working within the LGBTQ movement, Fontenot then shifted her focus toward land-based work as a scholar, activist and farmer. In 2015, she became a co-organizer of the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network, and in 2016 she co-founded the Queer Eco-Justice Project, organizing at the intersection of ecological justice and queer liberation.
More recently, Fontenot joined the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project. An alumnus of the organization’s Justice and Ecology Strategy Retreat, Fontenot plans to continue further advancing Eco-Justice. Fontenot holds an interdisciplinary MA in Social Transformation focused on African-diasporic spiritual traditions, land-based movements, and queer ecology.
Paul Getsos – Strategist, Trainer and Organizational Development Specialist
Paul Getsos is a queer man who has worked at the intersection of social movements with a focus on environmental sustainability as well as economic and racial justice. Getsos helped organize the Peoples Climate March at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014. He also led efforts to build the Peoples Climate Movement, which brings together community organizations, environmental justice, labor groups, and individuals to drive bold action in response to climate change.
“Not only is climate change going to impact the planet, but it’s also going to impact communities,” says Getsos. “As we have seen in the current COVIDcrisis, LGBTQ people, poor people, people of color, young people, and the elderly are going to be particularly impacted.”
Getsos is currently developing innovative strategies, tactics, and tools to engage people impacted by the recession to help develop policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including fighting for stimulus programs to rebuild a just and sustainable economy. Paul is a widely respected strategist, trainer and organizational development specialist who has worked with groups such as League of Conservation Voters, and Community Change. He is a co-author of Tools for Radical Democracy: How to Organize for Power in Your Community.
Jamie Margolin – Co-founder of Zero Hour Organization
Jamie Margolin co-founded the Zero Hour Organization in 2016 at age 14, serving as co-executive director. As a queer, Jewish, Latina community activist, she is committed to advocating for the most vulnerable communities.
“When you uplift Latinx voices in the climate movement, you must also fight for Indigenous rights, including the biodiversity those communities protect,” said Margolin.
Her writing about climate change has appeared in many publications including HuffPost and CNN. She was part of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 class of 2018. In 2018, she was also named as one of People Magazine’s 25 Women Changing the World.
Zero Hour, made up of youth activists, focuses on the lack of action being taken by officials around the world in terms of climate change. In their mission statement they explain “We believe that every individual, from every community should have access to clean air, water, and public lands. We believe in putting the needs and health of our communities before corporate gain.”
Zero Hour’s first goal was to create a national mass day of action to get more youth involved in fighting for the health of the planet. By using #thisisZeroHour, the dedicated youth in this organization send out the message that there is no more time to waste, and action must be taken as soon as possible to combat climate change.
“There is a crisis happening, but no action is being taken. This organization is a non-profit international organization whose goal is to educate people about the climate crisis and get more people involved in activism,” said Margolin.
Howard Ou – Policy Advisor for Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39)
Howard Ou serves as Policy Advisor for Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) where he manages the Congressman’s energy, environment, tech, immigration, and veteran’s legislative portfolio, among other issues. Ou also oversees the Congressman’s committee work on the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and his work with the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, Congressional Asian Pacific American Coalition, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and the newly launched Congressional Military Transition Assistance Pathway Caucus.
Before this current position, Howard was a Policy and Press Advisor for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and APAICS Legislative Fellow for Congresswoman Judy Chu, serving as the Congresswoman’s liaison to the Muslim American community while managing her civil rights portfolio. He also previously worked as a defense staffer for Congressman Scott Peters based in San Diego. He is a New Leaders Council Member and a Political Partner with the Truman National Security Project.
Ou is working toward an M.S. from San Diego State and holds a B.S. from Alliant International University.